The former chair of Fonterra John Wilson has died after a battle with poor health.
He was 54.
He is survived by his wife Belinda and four daughters.
Mr Wilson stepped-down as chair in July last year because of a health scare.
He then retired from the co-operative's board in November.
John Wilson was elected a Fonterra director in 2003 and became chair in 2012.
He was also a director of Turners and Growers and Rangitata South Irrigation.
Current Fonterra chair John Monaghan said Mr Wilson was dedicated and committed to his role and a strong advocate for the dairy industry.
"We have lost a friend, colleague, leader and champion for our industry much too soon.
"Our thoughts and deep gratitude for all that he contributed go to his family and friends," he said.
It is unclear what his illness was.